Last week's trip to Deadly Dragon turned up an absolutely insane record: "Serious Times" on the Frenz label.
Gyptian sings over the "Spiritual War" riddim that begins with nyabinghi drumming so slow and steady it sounds like a skip in the vinyl. A little tasteful rhythm guitar and some fluttering sax comes in, then the saccharine vocal hits with this style that's like Orlando boy band phrasing with the sensibility of, well, Cody ChesnuTT (thanks Fred). Thing is, the lyrics themselves are in the vein of the Rasta marxism that's running through this year's roots reggae renaissance; the song begins Now see these are some serious times/ all i can see around us is just violence and crime/ full time for us to centralize, socialize and realize... and continues to devastate apace.
Deadly Dragon was telling us there's a new crop of next level riddims based solely on nyabinghi drums (a guy on the train said this is already a big thing in...St Croix?), but liberal Googling hasn't turned up much on the tune or the singer—it's getting a little burn on the charts in JA but no one seems to know anything about Gyptian the man other than he's from Portmore—which probably mean's he's Mr Windell Edwards, who won the 2004 Portmore Star Search under the name "I-Gyptian." Which doesn't mean all that much to us.